Snow started in the passage,
thickening through dim light,
swirling among aromas of hot oil,
funnelling her towards distant sounds
in an alien world defined
by its own machinations,
hard and functional.
Snow piled in corners,
resting on bales
stacked row upon row.
Men stooped to carry wicker baskets,
walking slowly, glanced at her clothes.
Why is she dressed for the cold?
Women gave barely a second glance
as they hurried on.
She stopped before a wooden door
lifted the latch, drew it back.
Blizzard blinded her, scarce able to see
what she had come to find.
Machines, line upon line
tended by all manner of men, women,
children crawling beneath as weave
became weft. Where is she?
"Anne, Anne, Anne."
she called and glimpsed her briefly,
crouched beneath, ghostly eyes vacated,
as men pushed and pulled the weaving bar.
"Anne!" she called again.
Tap tap tap against the window pane.
She woke startled in freezing air,
slipped into work dress, clogs,
went downstairs and out.
Anne lay as ice under a makeshift
blanket shroud on a boxwood table.
Snow flaked, fell round her head;
the cause of death.